How to Restore Brass Using Citric Acid

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You can very easily restore the wonderful shine of brass using an easy to find household ingredient, Citric Acid. This method is very affordable and easy to do!

Step 1: What Is Citric Acid?

Citric Acid is a common household ingredient easily found in the baking aisle of your local supermarket. It sometimes goes by the name of Lemon Salt. It is commonly added as an acidifying agent to baking goods and to fruit juices.

Step 2: Disolving Citric Acid in Water

I dissolved 25 grams (a little under 1 oz) of citric acid in 500ml (just over 16oz) of water. You can use warm water to speed up the process.

I made sure it was well dissolved by stirring the mix for about a minute.

Step 3: Wearing Gloves Is Recommended

While Citric Acid isn't particularly corrosive, it is still a mild irritant. It is not a bad idea to wear gloves so that it won't sting any cuts you may have on your hands.

If you do have cuts or open sores on your hand, wearing gloves when handling citric acid is a must!

The PH of my solution was around 3 ph.

Step 4: Let Parts Soak and Wipe With Abrasive Sponge

I let the brass soak in the citric acid solution for about an hour. After which, I rubbed off the oxidation using the abrasive side of a kitchen sponge.

The parts which had tougher oxidation, I let soak for more time and used an abrasive pad (aka brillo pad) on the most annoying stains.

After you are done with removing the oxidation, simply rinse the brass in clean water. You can optionally apply a few coats of varnish or lacquer if you want to protect the brass from oxidation in the future.

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    boocat

    Question 2 months ago on Step 4

    What kind of lacquer goes over brass lamp parts? (It's a bathroom light fixture I'm working on.) How do I apply lacquer over it evenly? (Sorry to ask such simple questions, but I thought maybe you'd done this already.) Thanks for your time.